Grand-Bassam is a town in the Ivory Coast’s south-eastern region, east of Abidjan. It served as the French colonial capital from 1893 until 1896, when the government was moved to Bingerville after a yellow fever outbreak. Until the 1930s, when Abidjan began to flourish, the town remained a major seaport.
Grand-Bassam is a commune as well as a sub-prefecture of the Grand-Bassam Department. Because huge areas of the town have been abandoned for decades, it has the feel of a ghost town.
The Ébrié Lagoon divides the town into two halves: Ancien Bassam, which faces the Gulf of Guinea, is the old French colony. It is where the finer colonial structures, some of which have been restored, can be found. A church and the Ivory Coast National Museum of Costume are also located in the neighborhood. On the inland, northern side of the lagoon, Nouveau Bassam is connected to Ancien Bassam via a bridge. It arose out of the African servants’ section and is today the town’s primary commercial hub.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand-Bassam is headquartered in the town. The Cathédrale Sacré Cur in Grand-Bassam is the cathedral of the diocese.
It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.